Nina Rumen Bursary Presentation

BC History of Nursing Society Presentation of the Nina Rumen Bursary January 18, 2014

Photo Credit: Ethel Warbinek BCHNS

Nina Rumen, an Honorary member of the BC History of Nursing Society since 2003, has experienced the health system as a nurse and a patient.  Based on this, and concern about the need to support the education of nurses, she decided to create the Nina Rumen Bursary to recognize a nurse who has made a difference in patient-centered care.

Working with the Scholarship Committee, the criteria was defined:

  • The award was to provide financial assistance to a nursing student in a Doctoral Progam in Nursing or Nursing related studies.
  • The applicant had to be a current member of the BCHNS, CRNBC and currently enrolled in a doctoral nursing program in B.C., submit a 250 word essay stating his/her goals for education and career, including examples of patient-centered care initiatives. Letters of reference must be submitted from two faculty members or employers and to present his/her dissertation at a mutually agreed venue.
  • The Scholarship Committee received one application and after consideration of all of the information provided, proposed that the $5000 Bursary be given to Catherine Haney. Nina reviewed the information and agreed with this decision.

Congratulations Catherine!

Sad news re: Dr. Sharon Simpson, Kamloops BC

Sharon Simpson, RN, BSN, MSc, EdD, died December 25, 2013, in hospice in Kamloops after a valiant fight with cancer.

A long-time member of the BC History of Nursing Society, she was co-author, with Karen Abbott, of Traditions and Transitions, a definitive history of the Nursing program at Thompson Rivers University (formerly Cariboo College).  A professor emeritus at Thompson Rivers University, she graduated from a diploma nursing program at the Prince Edward Island Hospital, received her post-RN nursing degree at the University of British Columbia and a masters degree at University of Portland. This past fall, she completed her doctorate at Simon Fraser University.

Celebration of life will be held in Kamloops Jan 4, 2014 at 1pm

Verna Splane receives Honourary Life Membership to ARNBC

The ARNBC Board presented Verna with an ARNBC Honorary Life Membership at a small ceremony at her home on April 27th 2013.

Verna was in good form and it was a lovely opportunity to pay tribute to her contributions to the profession and to acknowledge her great support of ARNBC during our founding years.
She is our first Honorary Life Member.


Nina Rumen Award Now Offered

This new award, created to recognize nurses who have made a difference in patient-centered care, has been  generously funded by Nina Rumen.

The award of $5,000 will provide financial assistance to a nursing student in a Doctoral Program in Nursing or Nursing related studies. The application form can be found on the Resources Page and then click on “Student Resources” of this BC History of Nursing website.

The deadline for submission of the application is November 15, 2013.


Congratulations to Beth Fitzpatrick!

Photo credit: BCHNS

The BCHNS is proud to announce our latest recipient of an Honourary Membership Award to Beth Fitzpatrick at our recent AGM, April 11, 2013

Please visit  Online Exhibits and drop down to Honourary Members and click onto her name for the full write up.

Congratulations Dr. Geertje Boschma!

Congratulations to Dr. Geertje Boschma of the UBC School of Nursing.

Geertje received a  UBC Killam Teaching  Award  (one  of  three) given  to  UBC faculty  who have been nominated by students, colleagues, and alumni for excellence in teaching. “They have been recognized by their students and  peers alike as having created unique learning experiences for their students and sending them forward with life lessons and skills well beyond the core course material. They are truly making a difference in their respective programs”.  Well done,  Geertje!

Nursing Leader leaves us,Dr Beverly DuGas

Dr.Beverly Du Gas,  a founding member and the first President of the BC History of Nursing Professional Practise Group, now  Society, suffered  a  severe  stroke  mid  November  and  died  on  November  22nd.

Until  about  a  year  ago, Beverly  regularly  attended  our  meetings & events,  despite  her  many health  challenges.  In April 1998 Beverly was given Honourary Membership Status in the BCHNS for her outstanding & continuous support of the BCHNS.  Beverly’s children honoured her career on her 80th Birthday by sponsoring a portrait doll in the RNABC Memorial Doll Collection, which can be viewed at the CRNBC Library and on this website. 

We honour & recognize all Beverly’s accomplishments, we will all miss her and her unfailing desire to contribute ideas.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family.

A service will be held at St.Faith’s Anglican Church Vancouver, Saturday Dec 1,2012 at 10:30 a.m.  Donations can be made to the Church or to the UBC School of Nursing Scholarship Fund.



Beloved BC Nurse, Dr Helen K Mussallem

Dr.Helen Kathleen Mussallem, Canada’s most decorated nursing leader  and  a  native  of  British  Columbia,  died  on  November  10th in  Ottawa  at  98  years  of  age.

A graduate of the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing, she served overseas during World War II. She obtained her baccalaureate in nursing from McGill and master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia, and returned to administration and teaching at VGH before heading a national study to evaluate schools of nursing.

During  her  long  nursing  career  she  served  as  Executive  Director  of  the  CNA  from  1963-1981.  Internationally  and  nationally  renowned    she  was  frequently  consulted  on  policies  for  nursing  and  nursing  education.  She received many outstanding national and international awards, including Canada’s highest honor, Companion of the Order of Canada.

She had a special place in her heart for history of nursing and, as a nurse from this province, has supported the BC History of Nursing Society since its inception.  She was awarded honourary membership in the Society in 2000.

Her funeral will be held in Ottawa on November 16th.  In  lieu  of  flowers  her  family  requests  that  memorial  contributions  be  made  to  the  Canadian  Nurses  Foundation.  Please  watch  for  further  notices  about  a  gathering  in  Vancouver  to  honor  Dr.  Mussallem,  probably  in  January  around  the  time  of  her  birthday.


Congratulations to BCHNS 2012 Honour Roll